Volume 19 | Issue 23 | October 20- 26, 2006

C.B. 1 hires two for the price of one (almost)

Faced with two strong candidates and just one opening for district manager, Community Board 1 used some creative thinking this week to hire both men, in the process creating a new position at the board.

On Tuesday night, the board voted unanimously, with one abstention and one recusal, to hire Wall Street Rising’s president Noah Pfefferblit as district manager. The board also voted unanimously to appoint Michael Levine, a 30-year veteran of the Department of City Planning, to the newly created position of director of land use.

Julie Menin, the board’s chairperson, said the double hiring was possible because Levine is retired and collects a pension from City Planning. City laws against double dipping preclude Levine from taking another full-pay city job while still earning his pension. Therefore, the board could afford to hire him without increasing its budget.

Levine, who will work a four-day week in his new post, thanked C.B. 1 for the opportunity and said he was happy to be involved in “planning the future of Lower Manhattan.”

Menin is the founder of Wall Street Rising and hired Pfefferblit a few years ago. He replaces Paul Goldstein, who left the board a few weeks ago to join the staff of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Anne Dworakivsky recently resigned as the board’s community liaison. The board expects to be able to return to a staff of four with the money they will save on Levine’s salary.

Both Levine and Pfefferblit were warmly received at the board meeting. When announcing the two nominees, Executive Committee member Roger Byrom gushed, “I was just so impressed with these applicants.”

Citing Pfefferblit’s extensive experience with C.B. 1 during his years as a staffer in the Borough President’s office, Seaport Committee chair John Fratta said, “With Noah, there will be no learning curve. He knows our issues and he can step right into the job.”

Pfefferblit spoke briefly about the changes going on in Lower Manhattan, telling the board, “I’m looking forward to working with all of you to take advantage of the opportunities going on in the community.”

Both Levine and Pfefferblit will start work on Nov. 2.

--Skye H. McFarlane

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